Night and Day: Zagreb

After visiting the Plitvice lakes national park we finally arrived in Zagreb in the evening. Tania had read about this museum she wanted to go to, the Broken Relationship Museum, and it was going to close soon, so we headed that way.

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Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of straight-laced Austro-Hungarian architecture and rough-around-the-edges socialist structures, its character a sometimes uneasy combination of the two elements. This small metropolis is made for strolling the streets, drinking coffee in the permanently full cafes, popping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theatres, concerts and cinema.

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The museum is on top of a small hill. You can walk it but we decided to take the funicular as the museum was closing soon. Its 66-metre (217 ft) track makes it one of the shortest public-transport funiculars in the world. The funicular was built in 1890 and has been in operation since April 23, 1893. Initially, it had steam engines, which were substituted with electrical engines in 1934. And a one way trip will cost you less than €1. Bargain!

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The view from the upper town was really nice.

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We made it to the Museum of Broken Relationships. The museum is a physical and virtual public space created with the sole purpose of treasuring and sharing your heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. It is a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.

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Dedicated to failed love relationships. Its exhibits include personal objects left over from former lovers, accompanied by brief descriptions.

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Some are funny, some are sad…

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This museum was Sarah’s type of museum as it was filled with people’s life stories.  She could have spent hours there!  The Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol (Zagreb was divided in 2 towns a long time ago: Kaptol and Gradec) is a Roman Catholic institution and not only the tallest building in Croatia, but also the most monumental sacred building in Gothic style southeast of the Alps. It is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus.

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Nadeem found this amazing restaurant with excellent reviews. The food was fusion hipster (and certainly not Croatian) and absolutely delicious.

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Everything the table orders they bring it all together on top of a wood board. The food was truly spectacular, one of the best meals from the 6 months trip.

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This is Nadeem posing in front of the Croatian soccer team and their very characteristic uniforms.

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Our last stop with Tania and Nadeem was the Ban Jelačić Square. It is the center of the Zagreb Downtown pedestrian zone.  It has served as the city’s commercial heart ever since 1641, when it was designated as a place where fairs could be held. Most of the buildings around the square date from the 19th century, and display a variety of architectural styles, from Biedermaier to Art Nouveau and Post-modernism.

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We were sad to say goodbye to Tania and Nadeem, they flew back to California the next morning.   They were super awesome to travel with, thank you for joining! We continued our day in Zagreb before traveling to Slovenia.

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We came back to the main plaza. The statue of Ban Josip Jelačić was placed on the square in 1866, only to be removed by the communist authorities in 1947. In 1990 a public petition secured the return of the statue, and it was unveiled on October 16th  – Ban Jelačić’s birthday. Originally placed facing northwards in order to symbolize the Ban’s defense of Croatia’s rights against Austria and Hungary, the statue now faces south to provide a better balance to the layout of the square.

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We quickly stopped at Kaptol Sq, where the Zagreb Cathedral is located.

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An earthquake in 1880 badly damaged the cathedral; reconstruction in a neo-Gothic style began around the turn of the 20th century.

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We were starving so we walked a little bit without direction until we found a restaurant that looked good.

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Interesting choice of bread color, not a bad hamburger. The waiter served us a gigantic french fries order as well which we thought were a side order for the hamburger. We ended up wasting some of the fries unfortunately.

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We walked towards the famous street Talciceva Ulica. This is the nightlife capital of Zagreb and during the day there are many good restaurants to choose from (we didn’t know this otherwise we would have waited to eat here).

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Fun fact: An invention that came out of Croatia was the tie, or at least the origins of the neck piece. Soldiers fighting for King Louis XIII wore silk material around their necks in the early 17th Century during the Thirty Year War. The King was quite the fashion icon at the time and he took to the colorful accessories, naming them Cravats, which came from Croat.

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Our time in Croatia has ended but the trip continues! We walked back to the train station where we left our bags.

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We took the train to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. We will be spending around a week over there, which is suppose to be one to the most beautiful places in the world.

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Bonus Pic Of The Day: Croatia may already have a lot of  tourists – but there’s always room for more. The flag and emblem of Zagreb shows a white-walled town with three towers, and the golden gates wide open. Supposedly this is to symbolize that the city is open to visitors and welcomes outsiders – quite the difference from other European capitals, which sometimes refer to the annual influx of tourists as a ‘German invasion’.

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